Depression – Part I – Identifying with your Trauma

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I have struggled with depression most of my life. The fear, the loneliness, the hopelessness, and the overwhelm that comes with it can be paralyzing.  I found with myself (and working with others who struggle) that at these times, we can become fully enmeshed with our depression.  We can’t tell where it ends and we begin.  We can’t see a way out.

I call my personal process and time with my depression = falling down the rabbit hole. It seems appropriate to me.  When we are in the depths of our depression (or deep into our wound), we go into an alternate reality.  It is a time when we are only aware of the fear, the unhappy, the injustice, and the negative that we see and experience all around us.   The filters that we use to take in information, words, situations and people, become clogged.  This affects our ability to see the TRUTH of our reality.  We are – down the rabbit hole – for sure!


So, here we are – once again – depressed.  We have BECOME our depression.  We sit in this dark place alone with our judgment, self-deprecation, self-flogging, fear and terror.  We don’t want to be whiners.  We don’t want to bother anyone with our problems.  We don’t want to have our imperfections witnessed or judged. In this hopelessness we continue to spiral…  How do we stop the cycle?  How do we consider the possibility that a) there is a way out of the rabbit hole and b) that we can come out of it more WHOLE than when we fell in…..

When I separate from my depression, I have roots, which become my lifeline.  When I KNOW that I am Cindy – Cindy is imperfect; Cindy is loved by her friends and family; Cindy has a huge heart; and Cindy also struggles with depression. Then depression is NOT who I am – it is an emotion and a side-effect of my previous trauma and woundings. When I remember WHO I am, I can use the skills I have developed and mastered to help navigate my way through the rabbit hole!  I remember that I have the choice of just struggling through and surviving OR actually coming out lighter and happier than I went in!  I remember that there is a lesson for me to learn in this moment.  That depression has a reason!   It is an opportunity to learn more about who I TRULY am. A chance to find another gold nugget of my essence – my soul – my gifts from God that aren’t tainted by my fears – my stuff.

Separating your identity from your trauma won’t stop you from going down the rabbit hole.  There is that moment of surprise and disgust that you are down once again.  It SUCKS being down the rabbit hole!  But, we can make it have a positive outcome.  We can use our depressed times as a way to see that we have images, patterns, and reactions are no longer working for us.  Sound good?  Well, it’s doable.  I am no different than you.  I am no better or wounded than you.  If I can do it, so can you!

So, next time you find yourself down the rabbit hole, reach out!  Call a friend.  Ask for support.  Remember WHO you really are and find another beautiful piece of yourself in the process.

Love to you